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Electric Fencing Installation Guide

planning & maintenance tips

Electric fences will only work properly if it has been installed correctly and properly maintained.


Make sure the electrified line or electric net does not loose power by 'earthing' i.e. it should not touch anything, including vegetation, apart from the insulators or insulated posts. Check that :

  • You have a sufficient number of lines of tape/wire for the stock or electric net for poultry.
  • You have an Energiser which is both strong enough to cope with well-insulated animals (e.g. sheep, goats and rabbits) and still have spare capacity.
  • The earth stake(s)and connection to earth are secure.


Check the voltage periodically, preferably daily, with an Electric Fence Tester. If the voltage reading is over 3000v the fence line is OK. If not, check the:

  • power supply, especially batteries.
  • fence line for 'earthing' , listen for the give away 'clicks' due to the line touching vegetation, metal/wooden posts, poor joints etc.
  • the earth stake with an Electric Fence Tester, if you have a reading greater than 500v you either have a poor connection, or another earth should be connected to the first earth. (This test is best carried out by grounding the electric fence with a metal bar first and then testing earth stake).
  • dampness around the Earth stake. In drought conditions, the effectiveness of the earth and fence will diminish . Water it! It will not grow but your electric fence will improve.
  • energiser output by disconnecting the 'lead-out' cable on the Energiser and test the live output with a Fence Tester, the reading should be over 6000v. If less you may have an Energiser fault.
  • 'lead-out' cable by disconnecting it from the fence and checking the live output with an Electric Fence Tester, the reading should be over 5000V. If less check the lead out cable and connections.


Temporary electric fences will become loose in wet and windy weather. Check and re-position sagging temporary posts every day.


Electric Netting is extremely flexible and it will often touch vegetation and cause earthing. Minimise the effect of earthing by re-positioning posts, adding more posts or struts, ensuring you have a sufficiently strong Energiser, keep vegetation away from the net by mowing (or the use of a weed killer/burning if the net is in a semi-permanent position).

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